Tag Archives: Fattoush

Persian Eggplant Stew, Fattoush and Baba Ghanoush- an Ode to Aubergine

31 Oct

I don’t cook with eggplants much. When I think of eggplant, what usually comes to mind is that cold, suspiciously slimy and bland ” filling” of roasted veggie sandwiches, the type found at Starbucks or the airport terminal. Blech. Although I find its deep, glossy purple colour and shape absolutely gorgeous (in the same odd way that I find sliced avocados and fresh lemons to be beautiful) the appeal of eggplant has long eluded me. I’ve bought them with false hope a few times, only to see them wither in the fridge, neglected. However,when I saw this tasty-looking recipe for Khoresht-E Bademjan, aka Persian Eggplant Stew, at Della Cucina Provera, It gave me fresh inspiration.

Half way though the cooking process, after I dehydrated it a bit and fried it in olive oil and plenty of salt, I could not stop snacking on my few favourite food, undisguised! Eggplant.

Deceptively difficult to take a good photo of something so pretty.


This recipe was sooooo tasty. It was a bit of a process, I suppose, about 3 hours start to finish. It’s not a quick “whip up” recipe, but I find cooking supremely relaxing, so for me it was no biggie.

Once I started with this stew, I was inspired to take the Middle Eastern theme and run with it. With the other eggplant I ended up making baba ghanoush, and then a fattoush salad with toasted pita. I served the stew on couscous mixed with chopped dates, and doused everything with plenty of fresh lemon juice. The whole thing worked together deliciously.



Baba Ghanoush

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 table spoons tahini
  • 1 roasted eggplant (next time I’d used less chickpeas and more eggplant, probably 2)
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil ( about two tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon smokey paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sumac powder (and to garnish)
  • Fresh thyme to garnish.

1) Blend in food processor.

Fattoush Salad

  •  red pepper
  •  tomato
  •  cucumber
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
  • Pita bread, toasted
  • fresh parsley and mint ( I had none, but this would be ideal!)


  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • sprinkle sumac powder
  • sprinkle ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Cut pitas into strips and toast in oven with olive oil and plenty of salt at 400 for 10 minutes, or until browned and very crispy. WARNING!: Highly addictive.

Persian Eggplant Stew, Khoresht-E Bademjan 

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water
  • Fresh thyme to garnish
  1. Peel eggplant and cut into 1 inch strips. Salt on both sides and lay the strips between layers of paper towels. This draws out the bitterness. Let rest for 20 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, brown onions with red pepper flakes, garlic and beef.
  3. Once meat is browned, add turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Then cover with water and stew for one hour or more.
  4. While the meat is cooking, fry eggplant in olive oil until cooked and a bit crispy (This is where I began snacking!). Set aside to cool.
  5. Once meat is tender, add tomatoes. Let simmer for another hour.
  6. Lastly, add eggplant, and season with salt, pepper, honey and squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve over rice, couscous or quinoa. For a (quicker!) vegan option, substitute the beef for lentils or chickpeas. It would obviously change the dish, but would still be good. OR check out this post I did for a veggie Moroccan Stew.



The plate of spicy stew, sweet dates, tangy salad, crunchy,salty pita chips and garlicky dip all worked together amazingly well. I can’t wait to make this meal again, for guests or family or just us.

It’s turned me into a total eggplant convert! Next on the list: eggplant bharta.

Fun Fact: “Eggplant is an excellent source of digestion-supportive dietary fiber and bone-building manganese. It is very good source of enzyme-catalyzing molybdenum and heart-healthy potassium. Eggplant is also a good source of bone-building vitamin K and magnesium as well as heart-healthy copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin” (www.whfoods.org)

On a side note, October was my best-ever month for Food, Mostly. The comments and views have been really encouraging. Thanks for all the support after a long break of inactivity! I’ve felt much more inspired lately to cook and contribute, and I look forward to growing my blog over the next few months.



This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Becky from  My Utensil Crock To join, or for more info click here.


My Moroccan Feast

21 Mar

Its not often when a meal works together so completely. Layers of textures and flavours that all taste wonderful when eaten one on top of the other, in different combinations. That rare and perfect meal, where you wouldn’t change a thing (this is especially true if you are the cook).

Vegetarian Moroccan stew, couscous with mint and raisins,  fattoush salad, tzatziki with cucumbers, and warm pita.  It reminded me of the “falafel plate”‘ from Ali Baba’s. (Brainwave- must include these next time!)

Tzatziki with Cucumbers

I mostly followed this recipe that I found on About.com

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 3.5  medium cloves of crushed garlic (two regular sized, two small! Just use 3)
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cucumber finely chopped
  • cracked black pepper

Very simple, but the cool garlicy-ness added a lot to the meal when spooned over the stew. This makes quite a lot, but it is even better the next day.  I also realize that Tzatziki is not Moroccan…but we had a lot of yogurt)

Fattoush Salad

  • 1.5 cups of  chopped cabbage
  • 1/2  red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 hand fulls of mixed greens
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • roughly torn fresh mint to taste


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbs honey
  1. Mix

This recipe traditionally calls for fried pita “croutons” , which I imagine would be quite delicious. I opted against it only because we were already having pita with the tzatziki and I only had two.

Next time!

Ok, ok.  That other stuff is great, no doubt. But the real star of the show here is the Moroccan Stew. I can’t tell you how quick, healthy and easy this was to make. Hearty, spicy and flavourful. Not only that, but you can throw in almost any veggie that is lying around the kitchen and it would come out delicious every time. It recipe is definitely going into my  repertoire.

Vegetarian Moroccan Stew 

This recipe from allrecipes.com was my guideline for the spices.

  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

I added

  •  1 cup shredded kale
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can red beans ( I was reaching for lentils but ended up with these- were great!)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup water
  1.  Saute onion in pot or pan with coconut oil until transparent- about 8-10 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, assemble spice mixture and set aside
  3. Shred kale and saute with the onions until soft. Add spices at this point and turn heat to medium. Fry spices until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  4. Add tomato, beans and chopped sweet potato and water. Bring to boil and then simmer on medium to low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until potato is soft. 
  5. Serve over cous cous and garnish with fresh parsley and yogurt. 

Warm and spicy. Yum!  I made couscous and mixed in olive oil, raisins and torn fresh mint.  When combined, the  sweetness of the raisins was so tasty and the mint added nice dimension.  If I wasn’t serving the stew with the couscous, I would make sure to add raisins or chopped dried apricots directly to the stew. The sweetness is a must!
I’m sorry to brag, but this was fantastic.  For my birthday I recently received a beautiful bright red tagine.  It is a self contained cone shaped pot that  keeps all the moisture in, resulting in tender meat.  I can’t wait to try it out.  The next time I have a dinner party, you’re invited. Be forewarned, the theme will be Moroccan.
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